John Askin, born in Aughnacloy, Northern Ireland, came to North America in 1758 and served in the British Army at Albany, New York, during the Seven Years' War. After the capitulation of New France, he engaged in the fur trading business. Upon moving to Michilimackinac (Mackinaw City, Michigan) in the mid 1760s, he started a trading store, became commissary for the garrison, and farmed. In 1780, Askin moved to Detroit where he became a justice of the peace, and ventured into the shipping business and land speculation, accumulating numerous properties in Upper Canada. In 1802, Askin moved to Sandwich (Windsor), Upper Canada, where he died.
The Papers contain the following material: Memorandum Book, 1766; inventory of John Askin estate, 1778; an article entitled, The Askin Inventory: A Mackinac Businessman's Property in 1778, distributed by the Mackinac Island State Park Commission, 1963; family records, including births and deaths of the family of George Jacob, 1788-1815; family correspondence and records, with topics mentioned such as the French Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars and the Irish problems,1785-1855; pictures, sketches and clippings from a newspaper giving an account of the late Charles Askin; and the John Askin diaries, 1805-1810.
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The John Askin Papers, volume 1, edited by Milo M. Quaife is available through HathiTrust.